The Worst LinkedIn Profile Pictures EVER


Your LinkedIn profile picture is the first thing people see when they click on your profile or maybe even when they Google you! You can take a stance against how shallow it is to judge a book by its cover all day (we agree!), but it doesn’t change the fact that a picture says a thousand words.

I decided to show you what I deemed to be some of the worst LinkedIn profile pictures out there…by taking them of myself.

Here are the worst LinkedIn profile pictures ever:


You are wearing sunglasses.

Remember the proverb “Your eyes are the windows to the soul”? You’re not secret service (unless you are…). Looking someone in the eyes helps you trust him/her more.

Worst LinkedIn Profile Picture Ever 2

You used the mirror.

No comment here. Especially for people taking these in the bathroom. You should know better. You DO know better. Come on now, team.

Worst LinkedIn Profile Picture Ever 3

You went with a selfie…

There is someone out there who will take that picture for you. I promise. It might be your landlord or dog sitter, but he/she will do it. I just know it.


It is just a little blurry.

It hurts. Snap one more and focus the camera a little better. If the quality of the picture is making it blurry, do a little googling. It shouldn’t be too hard to fix.

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You featured your pet.

Oh gosh! We love a good pet photo, but not on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not the place for our furry friends, but you’ll hit a home run with that Instagram crowd. Give it a try.

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You cropped it weird.

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, don’t make this mistake. It hurts your credibility. Phone a friend to fix your photo. If the photo was already cropped before uploading, it’s time to take a new headshot.

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It looks nothing like you.

We all know those SnapChat and Instagram filters (God bless ‘em) that we break out on a bad hair day or after getting four hours of sleep. They are great, but not for LinkedIn.

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Your attire is not professional.

Save it for the bachelorette party SnapChats. If you wouldn't wear it to a professional networking event, it shouldn't be in your profile picture. No one should feel uncomfortable or confused by your picture.


You’re making a scary/angry face.

Nothing says “I don’t want to talk to you” more than a terrifying LinkedIn profile pic. Maybe smiling isn’t your thing. Okay, fine. Try smizing (google it).

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You used a weird filter.

LinkedIn just isn’t the place for a filter. This is tricky because it now offers filters. DON’T FALL FOR IT. Let’s leave the sepia or pop-art photos back in 7th grade.

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You cropped someone out.

First off, rude. Secondly, it just feels half-hearted. No matter how much you love that picture of you, it isn’t that hard to take a new one that is just you - without cropping.

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It is a full-body action shot.

We’ve all seen it. The person who is climbing a mountain, summiting a mountain, looking at a mountain, etc. Rule of thumb: no mountains. You are tiny and impossible to see.

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You’re playing a sport.

Athletes often do win points with hiring managers, but the picture isn’t the place to prove it. Your face is hidden, and it feels a little braggy. Let your stats do the bragging.

Public speaking.jpg

You are public speaking.

No, like, it is really cool that you did a TedTalk, but unfortunately you are tiny in that photo, and I still have no idea what you look like. Link the TedTalk in your media.

Inappropriate background.jpg

Background is unprofessional.

The posters on your bedroom wall or photos in front of your cruise ship knock your professionalism down a notch. You should be going for something clean and subtle.

Glamour shot.jpg

It is clearly a glamour shot.

If there were fans and a spotlight involved, it is probably a no-go. I’m sure you look beautiful, but your goal should be beautifully professional.

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The lighting is terrible.

Everything else could be right, but if the lighting is bad, the picture is ruined. Backlit photos tend to be the most common mistake. Get some lighting on your face.

Group pic.jpg

It is a group photo.

This is a social media no-no across all platforms. How are we supposed to know which one you are in the picture?! Your picture should be of you and only you.

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You’re making a weird face.

Personality in a photo is never a bad thing. Be careful about going over the top and skewing your face into something that is cringe-worthy for the viewer.

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Your picture is hidden/missing.

Don’t give people the opportunity to guess about your professionalism, because they will. Fill in the blanks for them - upload your own professional photo and make it public so everyone can see it.


“Oh gosh. I failed. HOW DO I FIX THIS?!” See this blog on how to take a quick, professional headshot. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. And trust us, it is worth the extra 5 minutes. What did we forget?! Let us know in the comments.

Model: Megan Mulcahy // Photographer: Reid Burkett